Pay.UK Begins Procurement Process for Strategic Partner
Pay.UK, the leading retail payments authority, formerly known as the NPSO , has published a prospectus outlining its search and requirements for a strategic partner to work with to deliver the New Payments Architecture (NPA).
The prospectus outlines what would be expected of the new strategic partner, whether this is ultimately a single supplier or prime-led consortium, alongside the timeline and expected procurement process. Pay.UK hopes to have selected and announced its new partner by Q2 2020 to begin work on delivering the NPA after 2021.
Alongside this effort, Pay.UK has invited vendors to express an interest in presenting solutions for the new ‘Confirmation of Payee’ proposition.
The future of the UK’s retail payments
The NPA will deliver the future of retail payments in the UK, providing one platform with the capacity and scalability for the prospective rate of real-time, bulk and multi-day transactions. The hope is that the NPA will generate simpler access for new payment methods, while delivering the stability and security required to meet the needs of future generations. It is also hoped that this will promote greater innovation, as well as competition, in the industry.
Procurement challenges ahead?
It is noteworthy that two of the services that are now subsidiaries of Pay.UK – Bacs and Faster Payments – had previously launched their own supplier procurement projects, but these have now been halted and merged, to some degree, into Pay.UK’s new scope. The shelved projects had already seen extended and drawn out timescales since their announcements, ostensibly due to the ongoing discussions at the same time with the NPSO.
Progressing with this new highly scaled-up project scope, Pay.UK has set challenging timescales for the whole procurement process. Of some concern, however, is the fact that the NPA is still only a blueprint and by admission of Pay.UK, a ‘conceptual model’ at this time. The rate of change and development in the payment industry overall, as well as in cyber security and IT, plus the implementation push for ISO 20022, could well see the architecture undertake various versions and remodels, and all while a potential supplier is trying to price up a bid to deliver it.